Bayer has posted a 12.4% rise in net income for the third quarter to 280 million euros this morning, as the Leverkusen-based firm’s turnover climbed 14.6% to 9.18 billion euros.

Sales at Bayer’s healthcare division were up 8.5% to 4.7 billion euros, while pharmaceutical turnover increased 7.2% to 2.73 billion euros. However, adjusted for currency and portfolio effects, the segments actually stagnated. New chairman Marijn Dekkers noted that the company's pharma unit "is currently facing difficult market conditions in some areas. Here you need only think of the health reforms that have been initiated in many countries".

Worst affected of Bayer's products is the Yaz/Yasmin/Yasminelle (drospirenone and ethinyl estradiol) contraceptive franchise which slumped 28.1% (currency adjusted) to 243 million euros, hurt by a generic of Yaz being launched by Teva Pharmaceutical Industries in the USA. However, Mirena, the firm’s levonorgestrel-releasing intrauterine contraceptive system, contributed 138 million euros, up 20.7%.

Revenues of Betaferon/Betaseron (interferon beta 1b) for multiple sclerosis edged up 1.2% to 308 million euros, while sales of the antibiotic Cipro/Ciprobay (ciprofloxacin) sank 30.1% to 61 million euros. On the plus side, sales of the haemophilia agent Kogenate (recombinant antihaemophilic factor) increased 6.9% to 277 million euros, while the antibiotic Avelox (moxifloxacin) was up 1.1% to 100 million euros. Nexavar (sorafenib), which is approved for liver as well as advanced kidney cancer, contributed 175 million euros, up 1.3%.

Sales of the hypertension treatment Adalat (nifedipine) dipped 1.6% to 171 million euros, and the erectile dysfunction drug Levitra (vardenafil) increased 9.4% to 110 million euros.

As for full-year 2010, Mr Dekkers said Bayer is forecasting "a slight increase in sales at healthcare" after adjusting for currency and portfolio effects and earnings before special items that "at least match the prior year". However, he added, "in view of the business performance so far and the strength of the euro, this target appears ambitious".